Graz – Austria’s culinary and cultural capital. A practical tip from the start: If you want to explore Graz, wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing. Why? Even if Graz is actually small – the second-largest city in Austria with a quarter of a million resident by no means a “big city” – you should be prepared for the fact that time also flies in the many short lanes. Comfortable footwear goes easy on busy feet here. In the historic old town with its roads, streets, squares and courtyards there’s lots to explore and even more to be enjoyed, for Graz is also the culinary capital which you should not only see but taste as well.
Tasting and smelling - In Graz you can and should actually sample with all your senses: First of all, you should obviously use your sense of taste and smell, because in no other city is “Austria’s delicatessen” as omnipresent as it is here. Countless bars, coffeehouses, wine bars, inns and restaurants invite you to sample regional delicacies made with products from the nearby Styrian culinary regions. The ideal starting point for culinary walks is one of the two centrally located farmer’s markets where farmers from the surrounding area still actually sell their fresh products themselves.
Thanks to this close relationship to nature, southern light cooking dominates the kitchens in Graz in summer whereas the nearby mountains and traditional alpine cuisine play a role in winter. This interplay also corresponds to that between easy summer living in the numerous outdoor dining establishments in the city.
Hearing and seeing - The offer of the cultural capital of Graz is also devoted to an abundance of sights and sounds. For example, there is the historic old town center at the foot of the Schlossberg with its city palaces, churches, private townhouses and archetypal buildings. The romance of the Renaissance accounts for a good part of the southern flair that both locals and visitors cherish so much about this city.
Yet what’s really typical of Graz is its old town for a completely different reason: Time and again, the historical architecture is disrupted by contemporary buildings such as the striking “Kunsthaus” art exhibition center in Graz, also referred to as the “friendly alien”. A type of art is presented here which one seems to master confidently in Graz: the interweaving of tradition and modernity into a new form composed with an ever-assured sense of style.
Thus, the city appears lively and constantly in motion with regard to all cultural aspects not only in its architecture, but in music, theater, literature, design and the fine arts. This can also be demonstrated by the wide range of festivals such as styriarte, La Strada, steirischer herbst and Elevate, which appeal to a diverse audience throughout the year, yet share the same high standard of quality.Read More